Cicada Oversleeps,

Misses 17-Year Party

* Daniel Jacobson got an early, very weird birthday present last week.

Daniel, who turns 10 on Saturday, and his sister Sarah, 8, found a cicada on the railing of the front porch of their house in Arlington last Tuesday. They brought it inside, put it in a bug box and gave it some leaves.

The kids, including 5-year-old Rachel, were really excited, thinking that the insect was a leftover from last year's swarm of 17-year-cicadas. But their mom, Lori, was less sure. "I thought maybe it was a one-year cicada. We had read about those."

Daniel, a fifth-grader at Arlington Traditional School, and his mom took some photos and sent them to KidsPost to see if we could get to the bottom of the story.

University of Maryland entomologist Mike Raupp confirmed that Daniel and his sister were correct. "This is an 18-year-old, 17-year cicada," Raupp wrote in an e-mail, saying it's just the second one he has heard about. "Too bad all his friends emerged last year. He has no party to go to."

The cicada did get to go to school for show-and-tell in Sarah's and Rachel's classes. "After school, we set it free," Daniel reported. "We don't know if it found a mate -- or if it got eaten."

Daniel Jacobson shares the news with the 2005 cicada.